The Chicago Bulls are going to be entering a do-or-die season this year.
They have not made the postseason since 2017.
However, the biggest issue is the pending free agency of their star player, Zach LaVine.
LaVine made it to his first All-Star team this season, but didn’t make the playoffs once again.
He has never made the playoffs in his seven years in the NBA.
That has to be frustrating, as he is watching his peers make it to the playoffs on a consistent basis.
"I just want my respect, that's the main thing. I outplayed my contract. I've been very loyal to Chicago. I like Chicago. I just want my respect. If that's now or later, it's something we've got to work out internally."
– Zach LaVine on a contract extension
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) August 2, 2021
Things can change this upcoming season, and for the future.
LaVine can leave after next season and take his talents elsewhere.
The Bulls are already trying their hardest to keep him on the team.
They need to do their best to make the playoffs and keep LaVine happy.
Keep On Acquiring Talent
In most situations like the one that the Bulls are in, we see that the organization doesn’t do the best job at acquiring talent to put around their star player.
The Bulls are trying to stay out of the label.
During last season, they traded for All-Star center, Nikola Vucevic.
This offseason has been a busy one for the Bulls.
They were in the market for several players and ended up landing Lonzo Ball.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 2, 2021
Ball is a very good talent who has improved his shooting drastically; to go along with his defense and elite playmaking.
They might not be done either, nor should they be.
The clock is ticking on LaVine and his future with the team.
We have seen this story play out the same over time.
His decision might be made already.
We truly do not know.
However, the Bulls need to try their best, and the first step is acquiring as much talent as possible.
LaVine Is Still Young
It is hard to be able to build around a star in the NBA.
Some teams, such as the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons, have a hard time finding someone to build around.
Other teams might not have the ability due to their geographic location and being a small-market organization.
The Bulls have all the ingredients that other teams lack.
Somehow, they continue to struggle and not make the playoffs.
LaVine should be frustrated and hold out on an extension for as long as possible.
For four years, the Bulls have rarely tried to compete and build around him.
The time has to be now.
He is still so young that the Bulls need to retain him.
There is a chance that his prime is coming soon.
This might not be his best version.
The Bulls are a big-market team that for years has constructed themselves as a small-market one.
We are seeing a somewhat change, but it needs to be a full 180 for LaVine to stay.
He will easily have every team in the league calling for his services.
Now, it is time for the Bulls to put everything on the table to keep their young star.